Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
Wizards in "Harry Potter"
The Wizarding World has access to numerous spells and magic that enhance their lives, from easy transportation via broomstick to potions that restore health. With these enhancements, it's not surprising that wizards and witches tend to live a little longer than Muggles.
Even so, you'll probably be surprised at just how ancient sorcerers can become—which are the eldest? These are the ten oldest known wizards in Harry Potter!
10. Stoddard Withers
A breeder of winged horses (not to be confused with unicorns of hippogriffs), Lord Withers is best known for creating a hybrid sport combining Quidditch with polo. The sport used his winged horses instead of broomsticks, but couldn't compete with Quidditch's popularity.
9. Minerva McGonagall
Today's best-known witch has long taught Transfiguration at Hogwarts. Professor McGonagall is a stern but fair Gryffindor, and often provides a voice of reason to Dumbledore's unorthodox leadership.
Despite specializing in Transfiguration, McGonagall proves herself a worthy duelist by pressuring Snape to flee in their Deathly Hallows battle.
8. Griselda Marchbanks
Omitted from the films, Griselda works for the Ministry of Magic for many decades, overseeing both Dumbledore's N.E.W.T. exam in 1899 and Harry's O.W.L. test in 1996.
Though she takes her job very seriously and has connections to the Malfoys, Griselda proves herself a loyal ally, defending Dumbledore as the Ministry tries to discredit him. Though her house is unknown, it's likely Gryffindor, especially since she was described as similar to Augusta Longbottom (another likely Gryffindor).
7. Musidora Barkwith
The composer Musidora is infamous for her incomplete musical overture, which was banned after the magic involved blew a building's roof off. For both her advanced age and unique music, Musidora was immortalized in a Chocolate Frog card.
6. Faris Spavin
The longest-serving Minister of Magic, Spavin guided the Wizarding community for 38 years. Known for his long-winded and sometimes thoughtless speeches, Spavin infamously survived an assassination attempt by a centaur offended by one of his jokes.
Beyond that, not many details of Spavin's long reign are known. He drew criticism for his support of banning the "Splooging" Quidditch maneuver, where two chasers from block an opposing keeper and allow the third chaser to score.
5. Trolley Witch
The trolley witch aboard the Hogwarts Express is so ancient that even she doesn't remember her own name. She serves sweets to the incoming students, and has worked so long that she's encountered numerous generations of the same families, meeting Harry, Draco, and their children Albus and Scorpius.
Despite often passing by forgotten, she demonstrates powerful magical aptitude, using Transfiguration (one of the hardest branches of magic) to mutate her body and scare disobedient students.
4. Armando Dippet
The Howarts headmaster before Dumbledore (ironically sharing his initials), Armando Dippet was a stern disciplinarian known to have put a single staff member on probation 62 times, but ultimately cared deeply about the well-being of his students. Dippet guided Hogwarts through crises like Grindelwald's rise to power and the opening of the Chamber of Secrets.
3. Perenelle Flamel
Perenelle's amazing age is due to the Elixir of Life produced by the Sorcerer's Stone she and her husband continuously drank, granting immortality through regular consumption.
Perenelle and Nicolas ultimately show tremendous courage by willingly destroying their creation after it was almost taken by Voldemort, ending their immortality to ensure the Stone never fell into evil hands.
2. Nicolas Flamel
Nicolas is arguably the greatest alchemist who ever lived, successfully making the only known Sorcerer's Stone and thus Elixir of Life. Native to France, Nicolas attended Beauxbatons school.
Although only mentioned in Harry's adventures, Nicolas appears in the Fantastic Beasts movies, where he helps Dumbledore combat Grindelwald's rise to power.
1. Barry Winkle
The mysterious Barry Winkle is known solely for celebrating his 755th birthday, which the Daily Prophet newspaper predicted 30 million would attend. How Winkle lived for so long is unknown, be it potion, Horcrux, deception, or even simple good health.
If true, this makes Winkle the oldest known human wizard, outliving even the immortal Flamels. And since Winkle's death is never mentioned, he could very well still be alive.
Other Species in Harry Potter
We've seen that the oldest human sorcerers live several decades, some without any apparent life-extending magic. Amazing as that is, even they hardly compare to creatures like vampires and werewolves, who can live even longer.
Other famous wizards like Merlin have unknown lifespans, possibly even extending into thousands of years, but for now, vote for your favorite character and I'll see you at our next Harry Potter countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill
Liz Westwood from UK on November 18, 2020:
This is a well-illustrated and interesting article. You certainly know the Harry Potter series well.